Atal Bihari Vajpayee Current Affairs - 2020

PM Modi launches Atal Bhujal Yojana

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABY), a scheme for sustainable management of ground water resources, in New Delhi. The scheme was launched on the occasion of 95th birth anniversary former Prime Minister Late Atal Bihari Vajpayee. On the occasion, the 8.8-kilometre long Strategic Tunnel under Rohtang Pass was also named after late Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABY): Key Features

Objective: Since, groundwater contributes nearly 65% of India’s total irrigated area, with ABY, the Central Government seeks to promote Panchayat led ground water management and behavioural change with primary focus on demand side management. The scheme will also help in supplying water to every house hold by 2024.

Nodal Agency: Department of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti.

Implementation: The scheme will be implemented in identified areas covering 8,350 villages in 78 districts of 7 states- Rajasthan, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. The implementation period for plan is over a period of five years from 2020 to 2025.

Two major components of Atal Jal Yojana:          

(1) Institutional Strengthening and Capacity Building Component- for strengthening institutional arrangements for sustainable ground water management in States. It envisages active participation of communities in various activities such as-

  • Water budgeting- water management tool that assists communities for the proper management of water resources, by estimating the amount of water a landscape will require.
  • Monitoring and disseminating ground water data
  • Formation of Water User Associations
  • Preparation/ implementation of gram panchayat-wise water security plans
  • Information, Education and communication (IEC) activities, relating to sustainable ground water management.

(2) Incentive Component for incentivising the States– for achievements in improved groundwater management practices such as implementation of management interventions through convergence of ongoing schemes, adopting demand side management practices among others.

Funding: Union Cabinet had recently approved Rs.6,000 crore rupees for Atal Bhujal Yojana. Out of total outlay of Rs.6000 crore, 50% shall be in form of World Bank loan (will be repaid by Government of India) and remaining 50% shall be through Central Assistance from regular budgetary support. The entire funding component including World Bank’s loan and Central Assistance shall be passed on to States as Grants.

National Technology Day observed on May 11

National Technology Day was observed on May 11 across India. The day marks the anniversary of Pokhran Nuclear Tests (Operation Shakti) of 1998 and also India’s progress in field of science and technology.

About National Technology Day

  • The National Technology Day was coined by late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee as 11 May act as as a reminder of India’s technological advancements.
  • Background: On 11 May 1998, India successfully conducted Pokhran-II (code name-Operation Shakti) in which it tested its Shakti-I nuclear missile at Indian Army’s Pokhran Test Range in Rajasthan. This was the second nuclear test conducted by India after Pokhran I (code-named Operation Smiling Buddha) was conducted in May 1974.
  • Objective: National Technology Day highlights and celebrates groundbreaking achievements and valuable contribution of our scientists and engineers in field of science and technology. It also encourages youngsters towards science and technology field and embracing it as a career option.
  • Celebration: Every year the Technology Development Board of India (a statutory body) commemorates NTD by awarding individuals with National Award for their contribution to science and technology (S&T). Also, on the occasion of NTD engineering colleges across India conduct programmes to support scientific endeavours and promote interest amongst students.

Other Landmark Events that happened on May 11

  • National Technology Day also marks the flight of Hansa-3, India’s first indigenous aircraft which was developed by National Aerospace Laboratories. It was flown in Bengaluru when nuclear tests were being organized in Pokhran, Rajasthan. It was a two-seater, light general aviation plane. It is utilized in flying institutes for pilot training, surveillance, sports, aerial photography, and environment Projects.
  • On May 11, 1998 the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) accomplished last test-fire of Trishul missile. It is a surface-to-air, short-range missile, quick-reaction. It was then introduced into defence service by Indian Air Force (IAF) and Indian Army.
  • The Trishul missile Trishul was a unit of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) of India which has resulted in formation of Prithvi, Akash and Agni missile systems.